Energy Efficiency Joins Nuclear, Coal, Natural Gas and Renewables to Meet Duke Energy’s Growing Customer Demand May 7, 2007
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -
Duke Energy Carolinas today filed a far-reaching energy efficiency plan with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) that makes energy efficiency the company’s “fifth fuel” in meeting customer demand, along with advanced nuclear, clean coal, natural gas and renewable energy.
“We are proposing an innovative approach to help meet growing customer demand with new and creative ways to save watts instead of relying almost exclusively on new power plants to make watts,” said Duke Energy’s chief strategy, policy and regulatory officer, Keith Trent. “Our save-a-watt approach is the first of its kind in the utility industry, and also links energy efficiency savings to retiring older coal plants.
“Our new energy efficiency initiative, combined with our planned investment in advanced nuclear plants and increased use of renewable energy, are fundamental to our efforts to address climate change,” Trent added.
Duke Energy Carolinas has had an ongoing dialogue on the save-a-watt plan with customers, environmentalists, the NCUC Public Staff and other stakeholders in a collaborative group since last August. These conversations and feedback received played a key role in the development of the program.
“The energy efficiency programs will cost customers approximately 10 percent less than the cost of building and operating new power plants,” said Duke Energy vice president for energy efficiency, Ted Schultz. “The plan will compensate Duke Energy Carolinas for verified reductions in energy use and be available to all customer groups.”
Customers would pay for the programs with an energy efficiency “rider” that will be included in their power bill and adjusted annually.
The 1,700 megawatts Duke Energy plans to generate in four years through energy efficiency will play a key role in meeting the company’s expected customer demand growth.
The energy efficiency filing follows the NCUC’s recent approval of one 800-megawatt, state-of-the-art coal unit for Duke Energy Carolinas’ Cliffside Power Plant Modernization Project. In its Cliffside order, the commission accepted Duke Energy Carolinas’ commitment to invest 1 percent of its annual retail revenues from North Carolina electricity sales in energy efficiency programs. This is currently approximately $35 million annually. As the results from new energy efficiency programs are realized, the company will retire up to 800 megawatts of older coal plants, significantly reducing emissions.
The concept to invest 1 percent of revenues in new energy efficiency programs and retire older coal units as power demand is reduced was recommended to the commission by Duke Energy Carolinas in November 2006.
Spending on the energy efficiency programs will be based on results, and the $35 million Duke Energy pledged to invest in new programs last November is just a starting point.
Duke Energy Carolinas’ existing demand side management programs can reduce energy demand by up to 666 megawatts in the summer. Duke Energy Carolinas is requesting that the NCUC allow the company to replace these programs, most of which are closed to new customers, with a new portfolio of improved energy efficiency programs so that more customers can benefit.
The following are the save-a-watt energy efficiency programs Duke Energy Carolinas is proposing:
- Residential Assessments – to help residential customers identify opportunities to use energy more efficiently through a mail-in analysis, on-line analysis and on-site energy audit. Participating customers will receive either an energy efficiency kit or compact fluorescent light bulbs at the time of the audit to begin their energy savings immediately.
- Non-Residential Energy Assessments – to help commercial and industrial customers identify opportunities to use energy more efficiently through an on-line analysis, telephone interviews and on-site energy audits.
- Smart $aver® – to provide residential customers with incentive payments to install more energy-efficient equipment, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and high-efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps. The commercial and industrial customer program will provide incentives to install high-efficiency lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, motors and pumps.
- Low Income Service – to assist low income residential customers with energy efficiency measures using kits or assistance in purchasing equipment and weatherizing homes.
- Power Manager – to enable residential customers to receive a monthly credit from July to October in exchange for allowing Duke Energy to cycle their central air conditioning in times of peak power demand.
- PowerShare® – to enable commercial and industrial customers to receive a credit on their bills in exchange for reducing their electric use in times of peak power demand.
- Residential Bill Check Pilot – to evaluate the use of new technology to provide customers with a monthly report analyzing their energy use and comparing it to weather patterns and other issues that relate to energy use. The pilot will initially test new technologies in up to 200 homes in the Charlotte area.
- Efficiency Savings Plan Pilot – to evaluate allowing residential, commercial and industrial customers to install energy efficiency products with no up-front payment, allowing customers to save money by reducing their energy use. Customer would pay for these products through an added charge to their power bill.
- Advanced Power Manager Pilot – to evaluate new technologies and advanced metering to study the feasibility of an energy management system that enables customers to participate in energy efficiency without disrupting their lifestyle or normal business practices.
Duke Energy Corp., one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers energy to approximately 3.9 million U.S. customers. The company has nearly 37,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky. In addition, Duke Energy has more than 4,000 megawatts of electric generation in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U.S. real estate company.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.